Franz Farm in Carroll County, MD.

New Environmental Issues Guide includes Historic Tax Credit Funding

By Elly Colmers Cowan

The Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund has just released a report, Vision 2025: Issue Guide, outlining major conservation issues that Maryland will face over the next four years – including the Historic Tax Credit.

From the Report: Conserving open space and natural resources requires efforts to re-invest in older communities which were often designed to be inherently more sustainable. Maryland has incentive programs that support both of these goals, and both will need to be protected and expanded in the years to come as we plan for better growth and healthy communities.  The Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit supports adaptive reuse of existing and historic projects that revitalize older communities and incentivize revitalization of existing communities over continuing patterns of ruinous sprawl that threaten our open space and natural resources. Despite the profound value of the credit, funding for this appropriated program has fallen by nearly 90% since its creation in 1997. Today, the state provides just $9 million annually for the program, which pales in comparison to the $100 million Virginia annually invests in its own state historic tax credit program. To compete regionally, and keep Maryland from sprawling, whoever is Governor must invest in programs like the State Historic Tax Credit.


The benefit that historic preservation has the environment is well-documented across the county. In Maryland, a report on the Historic Tax Credit in Maryland conducted by the Abell Foundation found that, on average, every $1M in historic tax credits can be expected to result in:

During the last session of the Maryland General Assembly, the League of Conservation Voters included SB481/HB954 “Heritage Structure Rehabilitation Tax Credit – Reserve Fund – Mandated Appropriation” on their weekly review of environmental legislation moving through Annapolis. While the bill did not pass this session, Preservation Maryland will continue to work with the League to promote the positive impacts that an increased historic tax credit would have on Maryland’s environment and fight for funding for this essential program.



Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Advocacy

Elly Cowan is here to get you involved in historic preservation and community development by becoming an advocate with us or learning something new at one of our events.

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